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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

WTLLTASI: voisr HTOIBOUDT.                339
study of the place deterred him, as he says, from
independent productions; if he called Mmself and
his family, in joke, the people that spend their days
in walking; if, also., his official duties occupied*"a
portion of his time, and if he was carried away some-
times "by a contemplative enjoyment of the great and
beautiful in art7 and sometimes by the demands of
social life, we must consider, -also, that he had accus-
tomed himself from his youth upwards to a restless
activity., and most conscientious application of his
time ; that he did more in hours stolen from his
ordinary occupations than others In a lifetime, and
that subsequently he found time, in the maddest
whirl of business, and when overwhelmed with the
most difficult affairs, to cultivate his favourite tenden-
cies, How much more could he not do this while he
was in Rome, with so much leisure to live for himself,
in a circle wliieh excited and elevated him, and
where nothing existed of the circumstances which
had so frequently depressed and annoyed him. in
Berlin and Paris. Here he felt himself more fruitful
in ideas, and if he completed few works, he was in
the real happy vein for production, and the creative,
the poetic spirit, of which scarcely a trace existed in
the days of Jena, developed itself more and more.
Two larger didactic lyric effusions are published,
which were written during the residence in  Romeó
the elegy,  " Home," which we have already referred
to,   and    a   poem    to    Alexander   von    Humboldtj
written    in   Albano,   September,    1808,  which was
published by the latter after Ms brother's death,    It
was   the reply of "William to the great descriptions
which   his   brother   had   given   him   on his  return,
verbally and in his ** Views of Nature/*    This first
result of the great journey had  been dedicated to
him by Alexander, and the poem reflects the impres-
sion made by it; it transports us to the midst of that
great and wild  nature, the  uncultivatedness and the
distant future   of this new world.     It  compares it
with the poverty and the greatness of the old world,
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